Improving Profitability Is Priority of Three-State Beef Conference

December 19, 2017, 9:09 am | Chris Clark, Sherry Hoyer

LEWIS, Iowa -- The Three-State Beef Conference, set for Jan. 16, 17 and 18, 2018,  will offer area beef producers the opportunity to visit with experts on cow-calf profit and loss and calculating breakevens, alternative cow-calf production systems, and using reproductive management and technologies to improve profitability. The conference is a traveling program, repeated three times in three different locations in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. The conference begins with an Iowa session in Creston Jan. 16, followed by the Jan. 17 session in Albany, Missouri, and wraps up Jan. 18 at the Gage County Nebraska Extension Center in Beatrice.

When it comes to profit and loss in the cow-calf operation, knowing the cost of production not only helps with managing risk, but also provides an opportunity to make changes to improve the bottom line. Shane Ellis, farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will address this topic on cow-calf breakevens.

Erika Lundy, extension beef program specialist with Iowa State University’s Iowa Beef Center, is also on the program. Lack of available and affordable pasture has contributed to the growing interest in confinement systems and other alternative production systems. She will talk about opportunities and challenges with some of the alternative systems, and share data from cooperator herds.

Beef cattle reproductive technologies have advanced rapidly and provide producers with incredible opportunities for genetic improvement, among other benefits. Dr. Sandy Johnson, extension livestock specialist with Kansas State University Extension, will share how those technologies can be used to increase calf value and increase profitability of the cow herd.
Conference session locations and registration

The session in Creston will be held at Southwestern Community College on Tuesday, Jan. 16. To register for this session, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Union County at 641-782-8426 or

The second session, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, will be in Missouri at the MU Hundley-Whaley Learning Discovery Center in Albany. Contact MU Extension in Gentry County at 660-726-5610 or

The third session Thursday, Jan. 18 is at the Gage County Nebraska Extension Center in Beatrice. Registrations can be directed to Nebraska Extension in Gage County at 402-223-1384 or

Conference registration will open at 5:30 p.m. at each site, and the program will start at 6 p.m. The registration fee is $25 per person and includes a meal and copy of the presentations. Preregistrations are appreciated by Friday, Jan. 12 to help with meal planning and reducing costs. The conference brochure has agenda information and a registration form.

For more information contact a local extension office or visit the conference website at For more general information, contact ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark at 712-250-0070 or email at or a regional ISU Extension and Outreach livestock specialist.

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